When Jean-Luc and Pierre Dardenne gained the Palme d’Or for “Rosetta” in 1999 — upending such hotly fancied contenders as Pedro Almodovar’s “All About My Mom” — it wasn’t precisely an out-of-nowhere arrival. The Belgian brothers have been already of their mid-forties, having begun their profession in documentary filmmaking 20 years earlier than, and had already loved a fiction breakthrough with 1996’s award-winning “La Promesse.”
However it felt like an invigorating new wave all the identical. Towards the tip of a decade marked by auteurist flash and swagger, the empathetic, unvarnished realism of their working-class survival story gave world cinema a clean-scrubbed human face: intent on making audiences focus extra on the lives being introduced than the administrators’ fashion of presentation.
In a career-making efficiency, the 18-year-old Emelie Dequenne performed a teen struggling to help herself and her alcoholic mom with fleeting, fragile jobs: Although by the way a damning examine of Belgian labour legislation and social welfare, the movie was no political screed. With the sort of grainy on a regular basis element that solely comes by way of acute human curiosity and statement — all the way down to its wince-inducing depiction of interval ache amid poverty — the brothers plainly distinguished themselves from the filmmakers to whom they drew instant crucial comparisons, together with Ken Loach and Robert Bresson. Continue reading “Jean-Luc and Pierre Dardenne: A Portrait of 2020’s Lumiere Awardees”